Smells Like Team Spirit

Apologies for the missing post last week, i planned to post it up Friday, but after rewiring all my gaming/cinema room tech due to fitting a new surge protected socket, I then went to fire up the gaming PC and couldn’t get a signal out of it, spent 45 mins turning it on, off, etc but no good, and due to other things I had to do, I had to leave it.

Turns out where Id moved stuff about, the HDMI cable had pulled out of the back of the AV receiver that the PC runs into, that was all, Schoolboy !

Been a busy week so not that much to report on the ML front, I removed the game play patch I was using, it does some good things, but also introduces other issues which were agitating me, so back on Konami Vanilla GP.

Team Spirit (TS) is slowly increasing, and it really is a ball ache to play ML with a TS rating under 75, even there its a bit shoddy still, it affects runs, positioning, passes, tackles, everything, and not surprisingly, as my TS has increased, results have started picking up a bit, including a 3-0 away demolition of Chelsea, who were sat in 3rd place.

Europa League Spots are going to be our best hope this season I feel use it as a springboard, sign some better quality and give it a go next season.
We need some better quality out wide on both flanks, as I prefer to play Saint-Maximin as a Support Striker, using his pace to get in behind.
We’ve had a bid for Rafinha of Leeds Utd accepted, he will join in January, which will give us more pace on the right side.

It is still such a joy to play PES21 with its slower more considered game play, after the frantic rush and attack of FIFA 22, but I’m still getting caught out by the FIFA muscle memory, and the way you need to play PES is vastly different.
Its a nice thing to have a PES modded up ML on the burner though to pick up and play when the urge arises.

I also downloaded Madden 22, I got it free as a subscriber to EA play, the presentation is superb, so detailed, and I enjoyed the few games I play, I just have absolutely no clue which play to pick and when so mainly play a passing game, going for the hollywood touchdown pass everytime.

A small handful of goals, nothing special but a nice variation from my last couple of games:

218 thoughts on “Smells Like Team Spirit”

  1. #1- think so, I summoned up an npc wizard dude, let fly with my jellyfish and glint stone arc and had a cm of health. Heart going like the clappers!. Nearly as good as Killing the cleric beast from bloodborne first go. Bare in mind I’m an amateur when it comes to these games, loving elden rings accessibility and huge map. I discovered a burning land that looked straight out of hierynomous bosch, pure hell scape.


  2. Werd – youre gonna love whats coming next, it just keeps getting better and better. Awesome game and hieronymus Bosch is right! Lol


  3. Afternoon all, been away in NYC – amazing time, until returning to Heathrow airport and entering the final level of hell that is current UK operations and customer service. I’ve not touched footy games other than to sell Fifa once it became a psplus freebie. It’s been Skyrim all the way as I quest to get back the trophies I gave up when changing accounts. I hate that it considers me a newb when I’ve been the Dragonborn who freed them all (of course in game you don’t remotely get that reaction no matter how powerful you become). Currently playing quite a few of the new anniversary lines – they’re not wildly great but I do like the added homes and items. Still quite bugged in places though. I’ll likely stay away from PES until the next football season.


  4. Tried to give FIFA another go. It’s not bad but it’s underwhelming. Very floaty and no weight to the players. It seemed very weighty when I samples it on PS4 around October or somewhere around there. Also not noticing much difference between PS4 and PS5. Wasn’t there supposed to be a new engine of sorts on PS5? I see FIFA has also taken some pages out of PES’ book in certain match situations, i.e. suddenly messing up controls, weird deflections etcetera. That felt new for FIFA but not in a good way.

    Anyhow, pes21 fully modded feels very stale as well. Trying a gameplay mod next, if that doesn’t produce results (it likely won’t) then it’s curtains for now on football gaming. The general feel of it all is so flat and boring.

    Rather do another playthrough of Elden Ring than go through the footy gaming slot again. Oh well.


  5. Morning all, just back from Sweden now – what a fabulous place. Weirdly at no point in the trip did I see any money – it seems almost entirely cashless over there and everything does what it is supposed to (unlike Manchester airport…). My last two experiences of airports have been so bad that we aren’t bothering this summer – Scotland in the car seems a much easier option. Still Skyrimming, no footy, but I have pulled the trigger on a long mooted consideration played out via both Paul and NG – I went Mac. Specifically a big store local to me that is giving up on selling Apple was having a fire sale – managed to get a 2019 16 inch Macbook Pro for just over £1000. No idea what to do with it yet but seemed one of those aligning of the fates moments.


  6. Sounds like some epic travelling there Turf, great that you managed to avoid flight cancellations etc amid this airports farce. Where did you end up going in Sweden? Fair to say that nobody here would ever accuse you of not extracting your money’s worth from Skyrim. Interested to hear what you end up doing with the Mac, certainly a decent price

    Werd – I’m still trying to visualise your Elden Ring ‘build’. Envisaging a strangely attired fellow with a big array of weird items and unusual magic. Still pottering about the starter area myself, a bit overawed at the thought of getting properly stuck in

    PES21 still going well although I’m finding it really difficult. Even with 4 good high-70s players on loan, including Mata, was still stuck at the bottom of Ligue 2 most of season 1 in the restart. None of my usual PES formations, tactics etc seem to work. Only a late switch to a Christmas tree 4-3-2-1 formation enabled us to scrape 5 1-0 wins in the last 8 games, hitting the chairman’s target of 17th place thereby avoiding the sack! A generous reward of 8m euros in wage budget, now to start building a proper team….


  7. abbeyhill I have started pes 2021 again recent after not playing it for almost 2 months to let it become proper for me again, I was just too familiar with it after what is now almot 2 years. eFootball 22 is pretty good but there is nothing to do with it and master league is not out until spring 2023 at the earliest

    pes 2021 is the best pes game of its era, better than any since the PS2 days, and i know that’s controversial with titles like pes 2011/12/13 and pes 17 since tjen, but it’s as if it’s got the best of all of them and more.

    assume you’re still on superstar, watch out for random mid-season warnings and take them seriously if you get one. I’ve been sacked twice in pes 21 and both times it was pretty much out of the blue in the middle of February or something after being told I had to win my next match, but not winning.

    if anyone hasn’t looked at efootball since it released, it’s a good time to sample it again now. Still nothing to play with it really if you don’t play online, but it’s playing good, and its amazing how slow and steady it is


  8. abbeyhill – NE to Manchester airport – to Copenhagen – train to Lund (about 40 mins away). Lund is lovely, like a small York maybe. It’s population of 40 thousand doubles when the uni is on (it was holidays so it was very quiet). If I’d had an extra day I’d have got the train to Malmo (about 20 mins away) as I was told Stockholm was 5 hours and they think of it as a different Sweden. I guess Malmo-Lund-Helsingborg are like the Alsace-Lorraine of Scandinavia.

    Skyrim anniversary has added a lot more content. Not all of it great but it’s all about the trophies for me now


  9. ah yeah sounds vaguely familiar Turf – about 15 years ago we flew to Copenhagen then drove over the bridge to Malmo, stayed somewhere inland amid trees and lakes, sure we went to Lund too. My daughter is for some reason learning Swedish on duolingo, hopeful that we’ll take her back to Stockholm one day

    thanks for the advice Adriano, yes on superstar and worried that one of your random warnings is imminent. Christmas tree formation has completely stopped working, rooted to the bottom of Ligue 2 again, miles adrift of the chairman’s targeted 8th place. Desperately need a dramatic change, might try 3 up front as nothing else has worked. Despite my inability I would agree with you that the game feels like a classic PES, although the PES12 you mention is a very high bar! Any idea if it’s still possible to switch formation in-game? In the past you used to be able to map a second formation to one of the d-pad tactics, but I’m not seeing it. Obviously a bit different from ‘fluid formations’ which auto-switch depending on whether you’re defending or attacking

    may as well download eFootball 22 too – a number of people are saying it’s now decent, and it is free after all


  10. abbeyhill, from memory it’s Game Plan – Support Settings – and in there should be an option to turn on something called Team Strategy Change to ON. It is off by default. When you’ve done that youll see that you can now flick between 3 formations on the main screen and choose how to setup. In a match you switch by pressing and holding up/down on d-pad


  11. Abbey-prisoner for me, couldn’t resist the metal helmet, hi dex and Seinfeld floppy shirt, magic is getting there and chuffed I have killed as many bosses as I have, stressful game though,.


  12. apropos of nothing at all, and in no particular order, I have selected my top 20 games of all time:

    1 PES3
    2 Jak & Daxter
    3 Rez
    4 FIFA19
    5 Metal Gear Solid 5
    6 Witcher 3
    7 Fire Emblem Awakening
    8 Dark Souls
    9 Zelda Breath of the Wild
    10 Zelda Majora’s Mask
    11 PES12
    12 Red Dead Redemption II
    13 Bioshock
    14 Resident Evil 4
    15 Ico
    16 Shadow of the Colossus
    17 Metroid Fusion
    18 Winning Eleven GBA
    19 Xenoblade Chronicles
    20 COD4 or Death Stranding or Super Mario Odyssey


  13. Ah, timing – I was just about to Linkedin you, thinking you possibly don’t walk down this street any more. It’s a provocative post as well….multi-platform yet nothing dating right back to the early computer days – going to have to give that some thought. e.g I loved Pes2012 but I suspect that was more due to joining the NG gang for the first time that year. Does that make it a great game?

    In the meantime just spent a fabulous week in Kenmore on Loch Tay and we are keen to explore some other lochs in the future. Lomond and Ness we know about but any you have been to? Not really into wild seclusion – somewhere with a bit of life by the water’s edge suits. Just so much nicer than the mob of the Lake District despite the appalling Morpeth – Berwick single track drive.


  14. Right I have thought. Firstly, it is a much older list than yours Abbeyhill, and one that really needs to be viewed in the context of my console ownership and playing. I started in the arcades around the same time as owning a Spectrum, then had a SNES, and ultimately the PS1-4 (these were the hard worked machines). When I was a game reviewer I also had a Gamecube, Xbox and Xbox360 (only the Cube got much airtime, so things like Fable and Halo never took hold). I have also had various handhelds, a Dreamcast, and a fair bit of PC gaming. I never owned a NES, Sega MS or N64 (so Goldeneye is out). Some games are undoubtedly stunning (Secret of Mana) but I just never got round to finishing. We also view things through a golden haze so absolutely a spectrum game is not as impressive as RDR2 but it’s simply where they feature in my history (hence me choosing a CM that would not feature in many best ever lists, but I only wanted to choose one of each if it was a series). With the exception of number 1 they are similarly in no order…

    1. Skyrim
    2. Championship Manager 3
    3. Final Fantasy VII
    4. Super Mario Kart
    5. Civilisation 2
    6. PES 2012
    7. Shadow of Rome
    8. Legend of Zelda A link to the past
    9. Minecraft
    10. Tomb Raider
    11. GTA 3
    12. Super Mario Allstars (bit of a cheat – it’s SM3 if pushed)
    13. Football Director
    14. Far Cry 3
    15. Lego Marvel Superheroes
    16. Footballer of the Year
    17. Disgaea Hour of Darkness
    18. Head Coach
    19. Tetris Effect
    20. Salamander/Life Force


  15. fascinating list Turf, as you say it is all about what the games meant for you at the time rather than trying an objective comparison between Spectrum and current-gen. I had a long break in gaming between teenage years and my 30s, when wife bought a PS2, so missed out on some of your era and have not played many of the above beyond Mario, PES, Skyrim, Zelda, Minecraft and GTA. Tempted to put Manic Miner and Oric classics like Zorgon’s Revenge and Defence Force on my list, but simpler to stick to post-2000s. In standalone terms I still view PES2012 as an all time classic, but as you say was enhanced by all of us playing at the same time, comparing our Shimizus and Ribeiros etc

    glad you had a great time back in Scotland. Last summer we stayed next to Loch Fyne, just around the water from Inverary, and would thoroughly recommend that – nearby Loch Goil also seemed good, quite a few bits and pieces to see and do, not over-run with tourists like the Scottish Isles or Lake District. This year to celebrate 20th wedding anniversary we went to St Lucia, more trouble than it was worth tbh


  16. Ah the lost years – I had a period like that with football, stats nerd till uni then didn’t even watch the cup final for a decade. What differed for me was a mate getting a snes in our final year and discovering you could start playing with the intention of half an hour before the pub but next time you checked the clock it was midnight. Soon as I had a job I bought one. Similarly though I haven’t played many of yours and it gives me thoughts if I ever finish Skyrim to a ‘happy with this’ level. Ico stinks though…

    Yes, we went to Scotland as after a couple of airport experiences this year we weren’t keen to repeat. Braving it in October as well – couple of work trips in the offing and family holiday. Newcastle is small enough to be quite good, but destinations are limited. We’ve usually stayed in Pitlochry but it was so much better being on the loch. I’ve heard of loch fyne in food terms, will check it out thanks. I’d also heard St Lucia was amazing but unlikely to go – my Caribbean experience is 45 mins in the airport in jamaica waiting to change flights.


  17. Similar to me. Speccy 48 then 128+2a in my early teens, nes then snes(played zelda for 5 hours straight and saw Link wandering the dark world when closed my eyes)iss supers soccer deluxe started my pes journey, N64 glorious then dabbled in ps1, MOH marathons. Ps2 came about after a break and Mrs werd wanted one with ratchet and clank, GTA. Pes3-2008 ah those editing hours! Then ps3 fallout3/ skyrim epics, ps4 with fallout 4, cities skylines, switch and mario maker 2, ps5 up to date. Wii and wii u not my cup of tea, snes/nes mini and ds/3ds getting plenty of mario kart time. In short I’ve had a good gaming life.


  18. I thought I reviewed Ratchet and Clank for the games website I was with but maybe it wasn’t – it was a game where two characters are handcuffed together or similar and you swap between them? It was a role where I got dozens of free games (no sleeves, couldn’t be resold, I gave most away) and the turnaround time was enough to put you off everything. Imagine getting PES 6 say and being told ‘review by tomorrow’. How do you even begin to give it a fair hearing? It was only ever a sideline – the bloke who ran it used to be a tester and once had to play GTA for 24 hours on a handheld to see if it would break. Probably accounts for why I have some gaps in my history and a really personal dislike of the Chronicles of Riddick.

    Trip to Seaburn tonight I think Werd – despite the issues of the north east fabulous beaches remain a strong point


  19. South shields last weekend turf, not too busy, our Frenchy can get a run out and the gelato isn’t too bad either. Middlesbrough Mela this weekend.


  20. Ratchet and Clank was good, amusing script and the large array of comedy weapons, don’t think they were handcuffed together though? The first Jak & Daxter edges it for me, jaw-dropping graphics and sound design on PS2, can still remember jumping around the first few islands. Shame the team squandered their talents on the dull Uncharted series

    PES2021 though…. I mean I still really like the game, the way the ball bounces about and the nuances of player individuality, but damn is it frustrating. I have pretty much mastered defending but even several months in cannot score goals, entire sessions sometimes consist of 0-1 defeats. Tried almost every formation and tactic, as well as loaning in high quality c.80 OVR attackers, nothing works

    More successfully I have just completed Red Dead II for the second time as well as Metroid Dread and third Fire Emblem three houses campaign, now deciding on the next ‘big’ games to get into. Almost certainly Elden Ring, and maybe Triangle Strategy


  21. Think you mean Unchartered abbeyhill….must be the tiredness from the clock changes finally kicking in.

    I have restarted a career in fifa21, simply because I prefer the authentic environment, even though it’s the weaker game. Boro in the championship, purely for those nights when I listen to commentary rather than devoting two hours to sitting in front of the tv. If anyone plays app games I discovered rise of kingdoms a few months back and it’s a complete time stealer. Very odd with it being left to players to enforce rules, etc – you soon know who the fascist dictators would be.


  22. Uncle turf – never knew you were a official game reviewer, cool.

    I’d have to think about my top 20 but there’s some solid entries mentioned above. I think my top 3 would have to consist of Morrowind, Elden Ring and Witcher 3. Skyrim and PES 5 would be included for a top 5.


  23. nice choices #1, despite the PES 3 typo – your tastes seem to be at the intersection of mine + Turf’s

    anyway, back to PES 2021 inspired by not-Greg’s latest update – back at Coventry in his ML and absolutely banging them in from all distances including with Rice. There are a couple of strikes with a Lucas Tousart which have inspired me to try to buy him immediately


  24. as I side note I also have to mention that I restarted Master League with Rodez, partly to reboot formation, tactics and transfer strategy, but mainly to get a better manager avatar. Ryan Giggs had always been a controversial choice, but last week’s revelations including the poetry made his continuing appearance untenable and Lothar Matthaus has taken over as face of me


  25. Abbeyhill – hah, pes 5 was my first pes and I never looked back so…forgive my ignorance there 😉

    Hold on now – not-greg update? How, what, where?

    Suddenly pes 21 is clicking for me again. No gameplay mods, professional difficulty. Enjoying myself with the defaults as AC Milan in the serie B. Just using evoweb patch and some cosmetic stuff.


  26. Fair enough #1, PES 5 would have been a pretty amazing introduction to the series – although it was never my favourite I still played it for 12 months non-stop

    not-Greg very very occasionally posts a PES video on youtube (GregDowns), and subsequently often deletes them…..

    PES 2021 is great with the defaults, even though it’s tough the gameplay is so fun and varied. Can’t find this Lucas Tousart in my game though, even though he used to play for Rodez in real life


  27. Afternoon all, been away again for a few days and had a significant birthday. I meant to say I’ve resumed fifa 22, but as of yet still only one match in and a lot of scouting, formation setting and tinkering. I know I’m going to be disappointed ultimately but I think I just stand more of a chance of sticking with fifa. I also got sent the 23 try out code but I’ve not bothered. I’m not buying it, fool me once and all that…

    Btw I have established that Paul, the erstwhile owner of these here message boards is in rude health, just not playing. Kind of out-Peter Greening not-Greg in the disappearance stakes as he at least is still actually kicking a ball. Although he is making music, so the Lucan Shergar award for hide and seek is up for grabs.


  28. Morning all. Nice to see there is life in the old dogs yet.
    Just got back from a relaxing week in Greece to read your top 20 lists. Tricky to do, but I can’t believe Kevin Toms or Dino Dini weren’t mentioned 🙂


  29. Chris99 – I did ponder Kevin Toms but ultimately his game led me to increasingly more deep sims such as The Boss, Player Manager and Football Director, etc. His was where it started but I got more play out of FD. Only time I played the other was when it was an add on to a management sim on the snes – Kevin keegan maybe? – and I thought it was dire. Striker was close but it was way too easy to score.

    I’ve played a bit more of fifa 22 and am getting twitchy over 23. My copy of 22 is a psplus freebie and 23 will be the last ever (I’m anticipating the next fifa driven game will be abysmal). Might mean keeping the heating off for an afternoon but I think I’ll likely take the plunge near release date.

    Btw Werd – was at South Shields fair the other day and they now have emulator cabinets with hundreds of games – all the well known fighters, shmups, sports, etc. we stuck a quid in Tekken 3 expecting one vs game – 10 fights later we passed the controls over to a lad and his dad as we’d started flagging. No idea how much it should be but you could spend hours there.


  30. I played Dino Dini’s Kick Off on the Amiga, so it was quite possible the quality of the game was different on the SNES (although Wikipedia says it was only on Atari and Amiga).
    My top three football games in terms of being a game changer are in chronological order:
    1) Football Manager (Spectrum)
    2) Kick Off (Amiga 500)
    3) PES 3 (PC)


  31. Great to see you back here Chris! Are you playing anything at the moment? I was tempted to include Kevin Toms as it was, as you say, a game changer. Ended up writing a somewhat better version myself with player development, formations, multi-colour strips, match engine in machine code, full European competitions etc which used every single byte of the Oric Atmos’s 48KB memory. Would have been a bit arrogant to put my own game on a top 20 list though.

    what should definitely have been in my top 20 though, as I realised when watching Top Gun Maverick the other week, was an Ace Combat game! Almost certainly the first PSP edition, where you escaped the insanely difficult final level by flying vertically out of a volcano, absolutely epic

    yeah, I had seen Paul active on twitter, LinkedIn etc so was assuming his burgeoning music career was dominating free time. Kind of him to keep paying the hosting fees for our occasional chats here


  32. Chris99 – it was Dino dini’s player manager not kick off that was used for the KK snes game. It was poor. The kick off game may have been better I don’t think I ever played it. Tbh I was always more of a management man than a player anyway, it’s only irl the amount I have to use a laptop that stops me returning to those sims. But I was never ever a game writer, surely a missed career there abbeyhill? You could have been a legend at conventions!


  33. I’m now absolutely sure there’s a random seed element thingy within ML. Every time I start a Milan ML, I win the pre season tourney thing, win the serie B with the defaults by a landslide and usually take the Coppa Italia as well. This is on Professional difficulty by the way.

    I decided to go a different route and go with Manchester United with the defaults.
    If I go the English league route, it’s a hefty challenge everytime and get my ass kicked in the pre-season, usually get knocked out of the first cup round and struggle to secure promotion. Now of course the English leagues are stronger than the Italian, but the difference is not that great in-game.

    Just an interesting tidbit. I’m having fun with it which is most important.


  34. A number of us always did think there was a ‘dice roll’ type element to every ML start. There were times I would get off to a flying start and be involved in a promotion fight from the word go, other times I’d be stuck near the bottom and unable to buy a goal. Same formation, similar players, just some sort of team spirit modifier before they came out and added team spirit. Fifa is particularly bad for the ‘you are not scoring today’ feeling. It’s those times you have to accept a 0-0 is your best bet. It does make NG’s invincibles particularly stand out.

    I pulled the trigger on Fifa 23 having said a mere couple of weeks ago I wasn’t going to be buying it. I didn’t even have you lot ramping up the interest to blame. I thought 22 started well then had the stuffing patched out of it – they all seem to end up the same game by Christmas – hopefully I might get some early joy.


  35. #1-still having my usual ml dither. I decided to start editing to be finished late sep. Make it feel like a traditional pes release. Read a lot of footy books, forza Italia, John foots calcio, uli hesse Tor! And my vintage euro footy yearbooks for inspiration.


  36. Just back from a UK tour of universities/visiting academic folk that reads like a gig list for a band who were popular in the 80s but struggle to retain a following south of the border; Preston, Bury, Huddersfield, York, Edinburgh and Glasgow. I’ve got Lithuania next month which will be a first for me. Prior to that just waiting for Fifa 23 to land, playing some Minecraft, looking at buying a family Switch for Christmas (any recommended games Abbeyhill? – Kart obviously), and generally not getting into anything heavy.


  37. Helluva long time no see…… Hope we are all well ?
    Firstly, apologies for my total absence from the blog both in posts and presence in the comments, summarised version, life is just too busy, with work, music career, family members health issues, etc, I just dont get time to game much and when I do, its usually it’s usually a quick pick up and play game of FUT.
    My Wife and i also took in a rescue dog six months ago, so she takes up alot of time on top of everything else.

    I’m glad to see quite a few of you still using this site to openly chat and converse though, which is why I still pay the domain fees and hosting fees, to keep it open for that reason, we had a good little community here.

    I don’t see my life situations changing anytime soon, so won’t be room for any once or twice a week gaming blog but I plan to pop in to the comments more often, and now FIFA 23 is about to drop i plan on slowly progressing through a career mode, so will do my best to post (in)frequent updates on here along the way.

    I was a play tester for EA for FIFA 23 so had the game a month ago, be interesting to see how quickly EA butcher it to please the youtubers, as per every year, but for now it does play a very nice game.

    See you soon!


  38. Hi Paul. Yes, that’s my worry, I’m due to get my copy today and I didn’t bother with the test version as it remains a distant memory by Xmas and all the patching. I don’t think I’d have bothered had it not been the last one – I cant imagine Fifa themselves making anything other than a complete mess of the game. I had a quick look to see if there was an ‘efootball 23’ and there is, again a free game which doesn’t appear to have an offline mode? Unlucky timing with choice of launch stars as well – Alexander Arnold and Fernandes. At least it wasn’t Harry Maguire. Meanwhile in Coventry some bloke has probably hit season 50 with Rice’s grandson. I doubt I’ll last all year with it but just can’t shake that September optimism. Bought the Switch so there’s always that to fall back on.


  39. One offline match, World Class, Teams evenly matched in late 70s – hmm, it’s not like Fifa 22 ended. Heavy ball, shooting much weightier, noticeable shift in AI after I scored. Not sure on corners and penalties – PES alsways seemed to do them better. Didn’t get a free kick in shooting distance but got enough to know they are there. Promising.


  40. Great to see you back, Paul, glad you’re doing well! I bet that dog is causing you a few issues but hopefully feels part of the family now

    Very keen to hear about how the new FIFA is going from you & Turf. Some of the previews made it sound ridiculously arcadey, notably the ‘power shots’. Have you done any power shots yet Turf? Sounds like something from Mario Strikers. So it’s reassuring to hear that the gameplay is solid and heavy, aside from all the FUT and gambling crap.

    Switch for the family sounds a great idea, Turf, I’m still regularly playing – currently Xenoblade 3, Hades and Triangle Strategy. Our favourite family local multiplayer games over the years have been Super Mario Odyssey, Super Mario 3D World, Big Brain Academy, Warioware, Kart of course, Splatoon, ARMS, Mario Rabbids, Kirby Star Allies, Switch Sports, Super Smash Bros…. actually there are loads. Best to be patient and wait for sales, as most Switch games keep their launch pricing.

    I’m still persevering through umpteen sackings and restarts on PES2021, such a difficult game. My current campaign with Rodez had a brilliant opening season though. After 27 games we were bottom and 12 points adrift of 17th place – the chairman’s downgraded target to avoid getting sacked once more. However a change of formation and tactics saw us get 7 wins from the last 11 games, including coming from behind on the final day of the season with an Arcas hat-trick to survive. That was an epic gaming session and hopefully can build on it in season 2


  41. Good to see that “Gordon’s Alive!”
    My son has pre-ordered FIFA 23 so I’ll have a bash one evening when the wife is working. Hopefully it is still okay on the PS4.


  42. Curious to see what fifa23 is all about, I’ve held off on it and will until pes21 runs dry for me. I forgot how solid that game is , having a good time.

    Endless tinkering in the beginning phases has made way for some solidity now in terms of which team to play with. Started out with ManU since Ten Hag is sort of succesful with them (not today though), but to be honest I’ve never had much sympathy for United somehow.

    Then I tried Liverpool, I don’t have any special feelings toward them but I’ve always liked them because of the history, class kits (usually) and the great stadium and atmosphere.

    I’ve always been an Arsenal man ever since the Bergkamp days however, so I’ve settled on them. The Emirates is a bit cold and sterile and the kits are okay, but hey they’re Arsenal.

    The plan is to first get them a title or at least back into CL spots. Then transfer to Ajax, win a treble and / or get them to tje number one spot in the club rankings. Then AC Milan and relive the glory days with van Basten, Rijkaard and Gullit (I’ve got all legends running around in my ML). If there’s still life left in the game by then, I’m going back to Arsenal to try and replicate the invincibles season.

    Good times!


  43. Oh yeah, I’ve ran into that random seed variance thing in ML again. Curiously, castledine is now rubbish as is Giorza. Normally they provide the goods for me but not now. Funny that.


  44. rubbish in terms of stats #1 or playing much worse than their stats? I’ve got my Castledine at AMF in a narrow diamond 4-4-2 just behind Arcas at SS and they are starting to link up beautifully. Off my seat this afternoon celebrating as Castledine rabona-ed a pass inside to Arcas who scorched past a defender with a burst of pace and lacerated the ball home. It’s that bust of acceleration and bounce of the ball you get in PES21 on hitting R1 that makes me particularly love it, feels so tactile and pleasing

    In contrast I’m struggling to really like Elden Ring. I mean it’s a superb game, brilliant combat and design, I think it’s something to do with the oppressive lonely atmosphere, just wandering around bleak landscapes and continually stabbing things, makes me yearn for characters, dialogue, music, humour. Must be getting shallow in my old age! Just downloading Cyberpunk for another try


  45. Abbeyhill – rubbish in terms of not playing to his stats, it’s quite odd really. But I’ll keep him around of course. That linkup between your arcas and castledine is what pes is all about imo, good stuff. I agree on the sprinting, it’s really quite good.

    As far as Elden Ring goes; I can see why you wouldn’t like it. The shallowness has to do with the creators style of storytelling; most of the story is pieced together by item descriptions or vague hints. It’s not the most engaging way initially perhaps but once it draws you in, the story and everything you do gets so much more meaning. But to be fair I didn’t know who I was killing and why on the first playthrough.


  46. I’ve now played around 15 matches in Fifa 23 but am probably not the best judge as they’ve all been in offline Ultimate Team. There is a noticeable difference for me between UT matches and that first random v random friendly I played. UT feels like UT always has, whereas that first game felt slower and more weighty. I will start a career soon so I can tell. The power shots though are nothing more than having to press the R1L1 when shooting and the screen focusing slightly inwards to show it’s a power shot – shooting is powerful enough anyway, and still not on the same level as a 40 yard howitzer from a PES default. I think corners and free kicks are better having had time to adjust, penalties are supposedly very stat based though I’ve not noticed. Hardly any offsides/penalties/free kicks in shooting range in UT – honestly I could be playing 22. I guess that new career as say a Championship level team will be the real test.


  47. Morning.
    I have started a cerr mode on FIFA 23, playing as AFC Richmond from the Ted Lasso show, EA have included them in the game which is a nice little touch, all players look really good too.
    Playing on World Class, using the OS slider settings, results have started to pick up but am still languishing 5th off bottom, the World Class AI is quite ruthless.

    Career mode is pretty much as it was last year, there are some new tweaks, added cut scenes, players having medicals, new press conference questions/answers etc, little highlights package that plays before a big game, etc, as usual the match day presentation is superb.

    Will get a few pics/videos posted up within the next day or so.

    The ‘Power’ shots in FIFA 23 are very hit & Miss, you hold L1 & R1 to perform it, and whenever you do, the camera zooms in slightly on the shot taker, and the animation of him winding up the hard shot seems overlu long, as I usually get tackled before i can complete the shot, EA need to tweak this, also the aim when taking a power shot is totally manual, so if I ever do get a shot away, it usually ends up going out for a throw-in !!

    eFootball 2023 or whatever they are calling it is a complete abysmal joke.
    its actually a load better than the original eFootball they dumped out but still a nonsense of a game.
    Slow, unresponsive, loads of missing controls, atmosphere-less, stale, horrific audio, and poor gfx, plus over a year after release and still no offline mode to play, no ML, and only 12 teams to choose from, and you can only play against the AI on amateur, or Superstar level, nothing between.

    Konami’s ‘dream team’ mode (the new MyClub) is a farce too, I started it, brand new team, had a squad of 60 rated unknown ‘fake’ players to choose from and got given a lowly rated Aubameyang, and my first match, online, in Division 10 was against a player who had half the Liverpool team, and half the Inter team, with Haaland up top. I mean, WTF ?!!!


  48. Still playing UT here but agree – even with 80ovr players the power shot wind up is too slow – unless you are hitting them from 40 yards there is a good chance a defender gets in and blocks it. Tbh I don’t notice a huge power difference from some players normal strength anyway – for those who have not played this is not Mario, flames surrounding the ball, scorchio stuff. I haven’t even considered online but if you want a game to tick off some objectives if you play UT Paul then let me know. Although tbh I do wonder why I’m playing UT when I will never enter the shit-fest world of spam teams of ‘lengthy’ (this year’s new thing) sprint players.


  49. Paul – what’s your take on FIFA 23’s gameplay? Is it a step up from the generic, patched -to-boringness FIFA of last year?


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